Winter is never far away – or at least never out of mind – here in Nagano. With the past winter having come late but then refusing to call it quits, and ultimately blessing us with a massive amount of snow in early spring – we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of winter 2019/20!
While the first snowfall is still likely to be 6 months from now, the increasing popularity of Nagano’s more than 70 ski resorts means it’s best to start you planning early and book in your accommodation, transport and tours as early as possible to avoid being disappointed.
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator and we look forward welcoming many friends, both old and new, to our beautiful region this winter! All of our tours are led by locally-based, English-speaking guides who want to ensure the best possible experience for our guests. In short, we want to give you lots of reasons to visit us again and the best way to do so is to make sure you love your time in Nagano!
With that in mind, we are happy to announce the following tours in Nagano for winter 2019/20:
Named one of Japan’s Top 10 Experiences in 2019, our longest running and most popular tour – our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – operates every day in winter. This enjoyable daytrip takes you from JR Nagano Station to Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple before treating you to lunch and complementary ‘sake’-tasting at one of the city’s best restaurants – Monzen Terrace Enya – before heading to the world-famous Jigojudani Snow Monkey Park.
We have revised the order of this tour – first visiting the temple and then onto the Snow Monkey Park – to avoid the busiest times of day at both destinations, and thus ensure the best possible experience for our guests! A little local knowledge is always helpful when planning how best to do things!
Join our award-winning tour from Hakuba!
This winter, we are happy to offer guests the chance to join our most popular and award-winning tour from Hakuba, with the introduction of our shuttle service from/to the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal.
Running everyday from Dec.18th 2019 until Mar.31st 2020, this free service allows you be picked-up (08:20) and returned to (18:30) the bus terminal. To select this option simply choose your preferred pick-up option on the tour booking menu.
For guests wanting to combine their visit to the Snow Monkeys with something a more energetic, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour combines a morning of snow activities at Japan’s largest ski resort – Shiga Kogen – before enjoying a warming winters lunch and early afternoon visit to the Snow Monkey Park. This tour will operate every day from December 22nd until January 10th, and then every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday until March 20th 2020.
True thrill-seekers will also love our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen Tour. Combining a morning riding your own snowmobile through the alpine landscape of Shiga Kogen, this tour then treats guests to the same warming winter lunch at Hotaru-tei – a 160 year old traditional mansion – and then early afternoon visit to the monkeys. With the option of both single and tandem ride, and all led by a certified instructor, this tour is sure to leave a lasting impression!
We are also happy to announce the following special event tours:
For guests wanting to get more than just warm and literally set the night alight, our 1-Day Nozawa Fire Festival & Snow Monkey Tour transports you to the Snow Monkey Park and an early dinner before reaching the ski resort village of Nozawa Onsen, to witness one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. This raucous local affair is known throughout Japan and wildly popular with international visitors who flock to the village to see another side of Japan – its wild burning heart. Including pick-up and drop-off in both Hakuba and Nagano City, this is a one-day only event on January 15th 2020.
Soon after Nozawa, Nagano City’s historic Zenko-ji Temple will come to light with the annual Tomyo Lantern Festival. To celebrate this beautiful time of year, we will be running our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Tomyo Lantern Festival Tour from Feb.6th to 11th. Combining a visit to the Snow Monkey Park with evening exploration of the temple, along with both lunch and dinner, this family-friendly tour is sure to be a big hit this winter!
And then late in February, the city’s historic centre will again be bathed in light with the Zenko-ji and Omotesando Illumination Festival. Our 1-day Snow Monkeys & Zenko-ji Winter Illumination Tour also combines a visit to the monkeys with evening to walking through the illuminated temple – a stunning sight in the cold, crisp nights of winter. Including both lunch and dinner – a special winter illumination dinner course at Monzen Terrace Enya – this tour is sure to be popular!
Want something a little different and just for you? Snow Monkey Resorts offers both private tours including an English-speaking guide and private transport – fully customizable to your needs, itinerary, and interests – along with charters including a private driver and vehicle to and from any destinations of your choice.
Can’t find the combined group tour you’re looking for? No problem! Just contact us, let us know what you’re after and we’ll get back to you!
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Nagano this winter!